Ubuntu Traffic #19 -- 2004/12/31

Benj. Mako Hill mako at canonical.com
Fri Jan 28 22:40:00 CST 2005


Ubuntu Traffic is a newsletter summarizing the goings-on in the Ubuntu
community -- focusing on IRC and mailing list activity.

Yes, this is the second traffic I'm sending out today. It's been a
good day. :)

I'm still catching up on Ubuntu Traffic after the conference in Mataró
(and lot closer to being caught up today than I was yesterday). This
slightly smaller-than-usual traffic covers the last week of 2004 that
as a holiday week for many.  It is attached to this mail and online


Thanks again to everyone who pointed things out to me. Please keep it


Benjamin Mako Hill
mako at canonical.com
-------------- next part --------------
                       Ubuntu Traffic #19 For 2004/12/31

                             By Benjamin Mako Hill

Table Of Contents

  • Standard Format
  • Text Format
  • XML Source
  • Introduction
  • Mailing List Stats For This Week
  • Threads Covered

    1. 2004/12/16Â -Â 2004/12/27 (12 posts) Replacing Postfix In Base
    2. 2004/12/27              (1 post)   Recent Community Council Meetings
    3. 2004/12/28Â -Â 2004/12/30 (7 posts)  Upstream Version Freeze Postponed
    4. 2004/12/28Â -Â 2004/12/29 (4 posts)  NDIS Wrapper
    5. 2004/12/29              (4 posts)  Wiki Improvements
    6. 2004/12/29Â -Â 2004/12/30 (11 posts) Progress on the Synaptic Progress Bar
    7. 2004/12/23Â -Â 2004/12/31 (64 posts) Doc Team Happenings
    8. 2004/12/29              (1 post)   Ubuntu Security Notifications


Welcome to the nineteenth edition of Ubuntu Traffic. This issue covers the week
of December 25 - December 31, 2004. Ubuntu Traffic summarizes the most
important mailing list and IRC discussions involving the Ubuntu GNU/Linux

Ubuntu Traffic can be found on the web at http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/
ubuntu-traffic/. You can also receive in text form over email by signing up for
the Ubuntu News mailing list at http://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/
ubuntu-news. There is now an RSS feed for traffic available as well! You can
find information on turning that on at the Ubuntu Hompage (http://
people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/ubuntu-traffic/) .

You can sign up for any of the mailing lists summarized here at http://
lists.ubuntu.com. You can also join the IRC discussion summarized here in #
ubuntu and other channels on the Freenode network: irc.freenode.net. Please
join in and maybe you will be featured in the next traffic!

It was another slow week with many of the Canonical folks taking the week off
for vacation. That said there were important issues that were raised which I've
tried to summarize here.

First, the following bits and pieces didn't get a full story but are worth

  • Rui Tiago Matos asked the devel list if Ubuntu complies 100% with the
    Debian policy? "If you don't, it would be nice to setup a wiki page
    pointing where Ubuntu derives from Debian's so that third party packagers
    can do packages that completely integrate into Ubuntu." Matt Zimmerman
    replied to say that we current adopt the same standards and will alert
    people when this changes and describe how.
  • Jon Dixon ran into trouble with the Marillat repository and using APT
    authentication. Crimsun pointed Jon to http://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki/
  • In another thread, Jon asked the list if Plone 2.0 would be available in
    Hoary. Matthias Klose replied saying that it would.
  • Emil Oppeln-Bronikowski announced a Polish Ubuntu team (in Polish) and
    pointed folks to: https://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki/PolishUbuntu
  • David Walker wrote the list with a problem with dual booting Windows where
    it became impossible to boot Windows. Useful links for solving this problem
    include: https://bugzilla.ubuntu.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1566 and http://

Mailing List Stats For This Week

We looked at 1018 posts in 4415K.

There were 274 different contributors. 150 posted more than once. 134 posted
last week too.

The top posters of the week were:

  • 70 posts in 309K by Oliver Grawert
  • 50 posts in 214K by Vincent Trouilliez
  • 29 posts in 103K by Matt Zimmerman
  • 26 posts in 124K by Sean Wheller
  • 20 posts in 83K by Ari Torhamo
  • Full Stats


1. Replacing Postfix In Base
2004/12/16Â -Â 2004/12/27 (12 posts) Subject: "Removal of postfix from base"
People: Scott James Remnant, Colin Watson, Thom May, Jeff Waugh

Scott James Remnant made a proposal to remove Postfix from the base
installation (but not from supported or ship) saying:

    I would like to propose the removal of Postfix from base for hoary.

     1. Postfix is a large, fully-featured MT&DA -- yet our default
        configuration is intended to only allow local mail delivery.
     2. Desktop users will "generally" not require an MTA, as most MUAs can
        deliver mail themselves (hiding evo2.1 under the carpet, briefly).
     3. Server users will have specific MT&DA requirements, and won't feel put
        out from having to install and configure one along with any other
        server they require.
     4. A local MDA would be useful for receiving cron reports, there are far
        simpler systems out there than Postfix.
     5. Postfix listens on port 25, this goes against our "no open ports"
     6. Not only does it listen, it rejects mail -- causing major problems for
        users of dial-up ISPs who deliver mail via SMTP.
     7. It does, however, happily accept mail for $USER at localhost (
        mailto:$USER at localhost) _from_the_network_ and deliver it.

    I propose we move postfix into supported, where it can live with the other
    servers. We could consider promoting exim4 into universe in its place also,
    but that's a different argument.

    In base, I suggest we aim for the simplest possible MDA.

     1. not a daemon, provides only /usr/sbin/sendmail
     2. delivers mail locally
     3. [optional] delivers mail externally "sensibly", could possibly pick up
        per-user preferences to do this.
     4. [optional] if delivering mail externally, startup script resumes any
        deliveries that didn't complete before shutdown.

    If there's no available software, I suspect it would be trivial to
    implement in Python.

Colin Watson replied saying, "If it's delivering mail externally, wouldn't it
need to listen in order to cope with the substantial number of mail servers
that do callback verification? Unless you just mean delivery to a smarthost
configured to accept without callbacks, of course. (In general, though, I love
this proposal.)"

Thom May replied to say that, "I think we don't want to consider 3 or 4 just
yet - they're not required for the simple desktop case and make life harder. In
future, connecting to a smarthost and punting mail might be a reasonable move,
but I think we want to think very hard about exactly where we draw the line
between our dmta (desktop mta) and a full-fledged one."

Scott James Remnant replied saying that he tended to agree and provided a link
to a sendmail implementation: " I tend to agree... http://people.ubuntu.com/
~scott/sendmail.py" Jeff Waugh, in turn, said:

    In general, I agree, with caveats:

      â–¡ If we do this, Postfix should be in ship.
      â–¡ I would support the selection of a known, proven, applicable tool
        (which we don't have) straight away - but I don't believe we should be
        writing software to facilitate this kind of change at this stage of the
        release process.

    That said, if a tool to do this was packaged and tested before UVF, it
    might be acceptable.


2. Recent Community Council Meetings
2004/12/27 (1 post) Subject: "Recent Community Council Meetings + Introducing
Country Teams"
People: Benjamin Mako Hill

The Ubuntu-News list (where Ubuntu-Traffic is announced) saw a message updating
people to the goings-on at the two most recent community council meetings.
Benjamin Mako Hill said:

    I've finished summaries of the two most recent Ubuntu Community Council
    meetings. Both the summaries and the full logs can be found at the links

    Meeting on December 7, 2004:

      â–¡ Summary: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/cc-summary-20041207.html
      â–¡ Full Log: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/

    Meeting on December 21, 2004:

      â–¡ Summary: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/cc-summary-20041221.html
      â–¡ Full Log: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mako/

    The second meeting covered the creation of new country/region teams. People
    interested in starting or working within an official Ubuntu Country team
    should contact Matthias Urlichs <smurf at smurf.noris.de (
    mailto:smurf at smurf.noris.de) > and optionally me about this. You should
    especially consider doing this if you've been active in doing country or
    language specific work for Ubuntu and are interested into finding ways to
    integrate this work in the larger Ubuntu community.

Country teams were not yet formerly announced on their own -- a future traffic
will include that announcement.


3. Upstream Version Freeze Postponed
2004/12/28Â -Â 2004/12/30 (7 posts) Subject: "UpstreamVersionFreeze delayed one
week, to January 5th"
People: Matt Zimmerman, Scott James Remnant

Upstream Version Freeze is the point within the release process where we the
upstream version if frozen for all software in Ubuntu and we are picky about
only letting in bug fixes. Matt Zimmerman announced that, "Due to vacation time
being taken by various developers, the UpstreamVersionFreeze has been delayed
by one week, to January 5th 2005. http://www.ubuntulinux.org/wiki/

Scott James Remnant followed up asking, "What kind of plan do we want wrt. the
merge-o-matic for this date? Do we want to just switch it off, or do we want to
be able to poke me to merge certain packages when requested?"

Matt Zimmerman replied saying:

    I think it would be best to let it continue to run, only not file bugs, so
    that up-to-date output is always available if we need it.

    Another question is whether we should have a different cutoff date for
    merges. I think it makes sense to stop MOM a few days (or even a week?)
    earlier, and fix all of the open merge bugs, so that we're "caught up" when
    UVF happens. Otherwise, we'll inevitably be lagging behind on merged
    packages, in some cases by a wide margin.


4. NDIS Wrapper
2004/12/28Â -Â 2004/12/29 (4 posts) Subject: "Seed proposal: add
ndiswrapper-utils to Ship"
People: Matt Zimmerman

Matt Zimmerman sent a message and proposal to the devel list saying:

    Recently I installed Ubuntu for a friend, who was using a Microsoft USB
    wireless adapter. While none of the native drivers in Warty could drive
    this device, ndiswrapper seems to work like magic. However, in order to get
    it working, I had to download ndiswrapper-utils onto a floppy on another
    machine and copy it over. Apart from that, it was trivial to get it

    Any objections to adding ndiswrapper-utils to Ship?

The only feedback onto the list was of the positive sort.


5. Wiki Improvements
2004/12/29 (4 posts) Subject: "wiki recent changes fix"
People: Simon Michael

ZWiki Ninja Simon Michael posted a series of messages to the user list updating
them of a series of improvements and upgrades to the wiki that he was making.
This included:

      â–¡ Fixing a Unicode error on Recent Changes for all but the "last day." I
        installed a workaround, hopefully a permanent fix for this. This also
        makes the user name links work in recent changes, if your home page is
        named appropriately; most of them are. Basically use your user name as
        the name of your home page. You can omit the spaces if you prefer.
      â–¡ Recent Changes times are now adjusted for your time zone, set a cookie
        at http://ubuntulinux.org/wiki/FrontPage/useroptions
      â–¡ http://zwiki.org/FuzzyUrls now work in the ubuntu wiki. This means you
        can type in the first few letters of a page name in the URL field to
        jump to that page. Capitalization and whitespace don't matter. If no
        matching page is found, you can do a search, or you can create a new
        page with the name you typed.
      â–¡ As requested on IRC, I made the wiki's "not found" page use the
        standard site skin. For now it just tries to complete your URL, or
        shows the usual error page.

Thanks Simon for all your important work on this! For us heavy wiki users, this
is a huge help.


6. Progress on the Synaptic Progress Bar
2004/12/29Â -Â 2004/12/30 (11 posts) Subject: "synaptic with progress bar while
People: Michael Vogt

Michael Vogt asked the devel list to test a set of changes to package
management tools that now show a progress bar in Synaptic while dpkg is

    I would like to ask for some testing for the new "progress bar when dpkg is
    running" feature of synaptic. A repository can be found at:

    deb http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mvo/synaptic/progress-bar /

    (screenshot at: http://people.ubuntulinux.org/~mvo/

    It contains patched apt and dpkg versions and a patched synaptic. You need
    to unset "Apply changes in terminal window" in "Settings/Preferences". It
    will set the debconf front-end to gnome, so make sure that libgnome2-perl
    is installed. It should calculate the progress pretty accurate. It will
    report errors that happend during the installation and can prompt for
    config file changes (it can't do diffs yet, this is planed with additonal
    support for external tools like meld).


      â–¡ Configure tools like apt-listchanges or apt-listbugs to not use the
        terminal directly but open a new xterm/browser.
      â–¡ synaptic will hang on applications that use read in maintainer scripts.
        It can't detect that and will hang with a message like "configuring

    I'm interested in any problems (crashes, incorrect progress calculation,
    packages that ask questions in postinst etc).

There were a few initial hitches but Michael Vogt worked quickly to resolve


7. Doc Team Happenings
2004/12/23Â -Â 2004/12/31 (64 posts) Subject: "Updating HowTo page"
People: Enrico Zini, Simon Michael

The documentation team clocked in another good week of solid work.

Enrico Zini started reorganizing the wiki by creating an index for all of the
HowTos in the wiki and by renaming them appropriately. After loosing a big
chunk of this work, Enrico announced to folks something that should really be
heard much wider than just the doc team list:

    Please spread the word that people writing howtos or guides should check if
    they are present in http://wiki.ubuntu.com/HowTo, and if not add a link to
    them, possibly with a line of short description.

Simon Michael replied saying, "Enrico, have you thought of just parenting all
howtos under that page ? Like http://zwiki.org/HowTos . Going this route you
lose the ability to add descriptions, but you would no longer have to update
the index page manually. Just parent howto pages under it."

Enrico asked if, "Is it possible to give a page two parents? That would be
useful to link a page from more than one idex."

Simon replied saying that it was possible but the display was not very

In other wiki news, Enrico re-parented the following wiki pages under http://

  • CzechDocumentation
  • DocumentationTeam
  • FrenchDocumentation
  • HebrewDocumentation
  • ItalianDocumentation
  • JapaneseDocumentation
  • LearningUbuntuOutline
  • PolishDocumentation
  • PortugueseDocumentation
  • RussianDocumentation
  • SpanishDocumentation
  • SpanishDocuments
  • TroubleShooting
  • TurkishDocumentation

The other major topic on the list was some good work being done by Sean Wheller
to reorganize the subversion repository where most of the work for the
Documentation team is getting done. Sean made a proposal to reorganize some of
the content in the quick guide and a more sweeping proposal to reorganize the
SVN repository that he was also offered to fix.

Thanks for all your hard work to help get the doc team up and working Sean!


8. Ubuntu Security Notifications
2004/12/29 (1 post) Subject: "imlib vulnerabilities"

There was only one Ubuntu Security Notification issued this week. It included:

imlib vulnerabilities

Ubuntu Security Notice USN-53-1 (CAN-2004-1025, CAN-2004-1026)

Affected Release: Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog)

Affected Packages are: imlib1

Fix: The problem can be corrected by upgrading the affected package to version
1.9.14-16ubuntu1.1. In general, a standard system upgrade is sufficient to
effect the necessary changes.

More Information: http://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-security-announce/







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